The Incredible Power of Mindset Will Change Not only Your Game, But Your Life … Luck has Nothing To Do With It

The Incredible Power of Mindset Will Change Not only Your Game, But Your Life … Luck has Nothing To Do With It

We have all met that person who is seemingly lucky at everything, always in the right place, gets all the breaks, and has everything fall into place every time. You probably just conjured up the thought of such a person.

Over the years I have studied many such people and discovered that “luck” has very little, if anything, to do with the success of these people. In almost every instance from hockey, to business, to relationships, when it appeared that “luck” played a part (either good or bad), I found that the real catalyst for success and failure was mindset.

If your mindset is one of negativity and failure, your luck is certain to be “bad.” We all know that when one thing goes wrong, there is often more “bad luck” to follow. The reality is that, in many instances, you create these bouts of “bad luck” through a negative mindset, precipitated by the initial incident or thought.

We often see this in sports when a player struggles a little, then finds him or herself in a full blown “slump.” Sometimes, these situations are career ending, when, in reality, the only thing that may have changed from success to slump was the mindset of the athlete.

Kwinten

One such player that comes to mind is a young goaltending student I have worked with for about six years. Kwinten came to me as an 11-year-old who had just taken up goaltending after joining his new family, who were – and continue to be – an incredible support system for him.

Kwinten was determined to improve, and he had developed the right mindset around sports. He worked very hard, and, over the next few years, quickly moved from house league to higher levels of competition. At 15, his father, in trying to do the best for his son, found an opportunity for him to play at the Junior level. The league was comprised of 16- to 21-year-old players, with a few, like Kwinten, as young as 15.

While the opportunity to play Junior at 15 sounds enticing, there are certainly many ramifications that parents need to ponder before entering such an arrangement. I would strongly encourage any parent to be mindful of Kwinten’s story before committing to having your child take such a step.

A 15-year-old with an older crowd can pose some serious issue, in any situation. Kwinten was young, very impressionable, and particularly vulnerable because of the upbringing he experienced before joining his new family and finding hockey.

He was one of five goalies on the team, which is, in itself, a problematic situation. This meant that he rarely got to play games (he played three that season, and won them all). To be part of a team, you have to play, so that you can feel like you are contributing to the team.

Playing is the reward for hard work, and if you are never able to experience the reward, motivation suffers, and a determined player with a positive mindset can quickly become angry, disengaged, and negative. Many parents do not understand this component of sports.

I often see parents pushing their kids toward “competitive” teams because they only see the perceived status or opportunity that comes from saying their child plays at the AAA level (or whatever the “status” level is in your region).

Don’t get me wrong; I’m all for higher levels and striving to play at them. However, if the parent is the one pushing the child because of his or her own ego, and the child does not get to play because he or she is a fringe player, lacks a strong competitive mindset, or is caught in a numbers game, the child’s motivation and mindset — which might have flourished at a more appropriate level — will suffer.

Spencer & Kwinten

Being the youngest on a team of young men, the players had no respect for Kwinten’s physical well-being, pounding him with shots that offered no development opportunity whatsoever. He became a target in practice and subsequently lost all motivation to work hard. He became uninterested because the reward of playing, and the feeling that he played a role on the team, was no longer there.

As his mindset deteriorated, he became more alienated from the true “team.” He started to gravitate toward the wrong group, tagging along with the older players, and abusing drugs and alcohol, so he could, in his mind, remain relevant to the other players.

As the later part of the season approached, he stopped coming to practices and had given up on not only hockey, but on himself. “Bad luck,” brought about by poor mindset culminated in several life-altering bad decisions.

It took Kwinten two years to get himself back on track and to realize that he needed both fun and a sense of accomplishment to stay motivated. With this realization, he began the 2017 season with five shutouts in six games and enjoyed a full season of success, brought about by the right mindset and motivation to play. His negative mindset had caused him to make poor decisions and quit the game, but his revitalized, positive outlook had created a new energy that fuelled his success.

Personally, I came from a family situation that was anything but ideal. My mother became an alcoholic after my deadbeat father disappeared when, as a child, I was going through the most traumatic time in my life, having endured a childhood riddled with a life-threatening heart condition, multiple hospitalizations and many other situations that many would consider “bad luck.”

My mother was an incredibly selfless woman who raised me to believe in myself, never allowing circumstances to dictate my happiness or my direction in life. She was adamant that I go after what I wanted, despite the odds against my being able to achieve these goals. She taught me to persevere, stay focused, and hold the mindset that I could achieve anything.

That mindset she created in me, has served me well and allowed me to view every situation as something I could learn or garner strength from and to see opportunity where others only see defeat. I have never allowed myself to ask “why me?” or to feel sorry for myself. In fact, the opposite is true. My wife and I have raised three great children with this philosophy, and we are very proud of their achievements and the choices they have made.

When coaching minor hockey, I have done my best to pass these sentiments on and help kids to believe in themselves, strive for what they want, and work hard without any hint of entitlement. I have been very successful because of this approach.

I was never the most knowledgeable coach – nor was particularly innovative in terms of the skills I stressed or the tactics I employed. Nevertheless, my teams won many championships, and the players I worked with often advanced to higher levels. These young men and women enjoyed playing for me because they learned to believe in themselves and developed a positive mindset; moreover, I made sure that we had FUN. This approach has worked with every skill level, age, and sport.

In any sports arena, you often see coaches yelling at kids to try harder or “get it right.” This only makes the task more difficult; as frustration sets in, the child becomes embarrassed or angry. Once this happens, they begin to shy away from doing anything outside their comfort zone.

This approach doesn’t work! It makes it harder to learn and progress. Coaches should be encouraging their players to push past their comfort boundaries and to make mistakes in an effort become better. Children should be given permission to fail – in fact, they should be encouraged to do so. Failure is an important part of development. This shift in thinking makes a world of difference, as players develop much faster, with a determined attitude.

As I grew as a coach, I took the time to explore human nature, psychology, and how to better reach the minds of the players I coached. The goal is always to better the individual, while conveying positive life skills.

I began putting together seminars for minor sports coaches. I discussed how I was able to reach my players and create a positive mindset, which, in turn, allowed them to experience greater success and enjoyment of the sport – and life in general. I used examples from my own life and described how I was able to achieve a number of incredible things that others with more experience and better knowledge were unable to attain.

I was aware of the mindset I had created for myself, and I was teaching others to actively strive for this, but I hadn’t yet connected all the dots. However, I remained hungry to learn, to improve my own skills, and to raise myself so I was better able to serve others.

While writing the #1 Bestselling book: Target Practice – 8 Mistakes That Ruin a Love of the Game, I was introduced to strategies and practices that facilitate positive mindset through simple exercises that expedite the process. These are easily implemented into anyone’s daily routine, and, perhaps more importantly, solidified and clarified what I already knew. I was thus inspired to gain more knowledge in this area.

Prior to speaking at a business conference, I was putting together a short six-slide presentation about my personal history, including both sports and business successes. Suddenly it all made sense. It’s incredible how your mind can crystallize things when you only have six slides and 10 minutes to tell your life story.

It had not only been the perseverance and dedication to my goals that had carried me this far – it was the mindset instilled by my mother that actually gave me the confidence to go after what I wanted, even when I didn’t understand how I could accomplish something, I believed in myself, and I refused to let failure or a lack of knowledge get in my way . This mindset created success.

It was at that moment that I fully understood what I already knew, but wasn’t fully aware of, even though I had inadvertently been teaching it all along: the right mindset can create almost anything. I realized that all those “lucky” people I knew had created their opportunities in life through hard work and a positive mindset.

The universe vibrates differently for those who have the right mindset. A positive mindset opens doors, and incredible things happen when you believe your own thoughts. Hard work is certainly a component of success, but without the right mindset, it is unlikely that you will EVER achieve the success you desire. I finally understood that my mother had taught me not to accept failure as anything more than a learning experience or a stepping stone to success, and that the more and faster I failed, the quicker the success would come. But, above all, I needed to believe I could achieve what I wanted.

This is the mindset of so-called “lucky” people.

This is the mindset of those who achieve more than is expected of them.

This is the mindset of those who are successful.

This is the mindset of winners.

This translates very well into the world of goaltending, where mindset is often the only difference between failure and success. I have recently seen some incredible examples of amazing accomplishments emerging from seemingly impossible situations.

Sebastien Malette

Several years ago, Sebastien Mallette came to my Bantam team from a rival organization. We had played against him several times in previous seasons, and he had proven to be an adequate goaltender, with more potential than he generally demonstrated.

His level of play improved dramatically while with our team because of his coachability, commitment, and work ethic. Of course, he was “lucky” to have come to our team, where he got the opportunity to develop and work on his game.

We spent many hours working to develop technique and refine his skills.

Seb went on to win two championships with us and then played a little Junior hockey before moving away for school and getting married at a young age.

Amazingly, nearly six years later, in the spring of 2017, he contacted me and said he’d come back to town with a desire to play pro hockey in the near future. He was also looking to play for his university in the coming season – as the starting goalie.

He hadn’t even skated in four years. The likelihood of a goaltender walking onto a university team after four years of inactivity is almost non-existent. I would, in fact, have said it was impossible, but because of his mindset and commitment, I knew that anything was possible.

We began.

We did weekly private sessions at my goalie training centre, regular on-ice sessions, live game play, and video review. He was clearly committed and showing great improvement, but the odds were still ridiculously stacked against him.

However, he had the right mindset! He believed in himself.

Sebastien Malette – University of Cincinnati Bearcats

Sebastien not only made his ACHA university team as the starting goalie, but he led the league in almost every statistical category. As I write this, he now has an agent and is entertaining offers to play professional hockey in Europe next year.

This is an incredible story of a goaltender who took four years away from the game, came back with the right attitude, and is now looking at a pro career because of his unwavering positive mindset.

Spencer was a 16-year-old young man who loved hockey and being a goaltender. He was caught in bad a situation, as his coaches on his team did not understand how to create a positive mindset for everyone on the team. One of the core responsibilities of a coach is to create a safe place for everyone on the team and to make sure there is no dissent.

Spencer was maligned by teammates and made to feel like an outcast on his own team, despite playing regularly and enjoying steady success. This is a classic case of mindset being torn down by others.

In the previous examples I discussed a goaltender Kwinten who was put in a bad situation and subsequently made life-altering bad decisions. While his mindset was a product of his surroundings, this doesn’t change the fact that he, in the end, was the only one responsible for his decisions.

Sebastien’s mindset was always positive and never wavered; he is one of those “lucky” people we all know. He came in with a goal and didn’t question if he could achieve it; he simply did the work with his eye on the prize.

Spencer’s mindset was created initially by external sources, and while, ultimately, the onus falls on him for letting a bad situation affect his mindset, we all know how difficult it can be to be continually beaten down and subjected to negative comments. This situation is disturbingly common in minor sports. Coaches frequently fail to recognize their role in developing their players and don’t understand how seemingly simple words can have a profound effect on someone’s mental state.

Spencer

Spencer attended one of our camps in the summer of 2017, and we had several discussions about his approach and reactions to the previous season’s situation. I helped him to understand how a positive mindset could be re-created, and that he had to get past this issue. The rest of his life depended on his mindset.

I am thrilled to say that Spencer found a new team for the current season, and he has enjoyed great success while regaining his love for the game. His positive mindset has spilled over into his personal life as he enters a career in law enforcement with his grades at an all-time high

The next time someone tells you that “it’s just kids playing a game,” remember the incredible difference a coach can make by fostering a positive mindset and developing the person – not just the skills.

The right mindset will take you to incredible new heights and open doors that seemed impenetrable.

If you can only choose to develop one component of your success, it must be to develop a positive and unwavering mindset of belief in yourself.

Self Esteem & Well Being of Young Goaltenders Often Ignored. Why is This Acceptable?

Self Esteem & Well Being of Young Goaltenders Often Ignored. Why is This Acceptable?

Last week, for what seems like the millionth time, my heart sank for a young goalie who was the victim of a system that puts people in positions without training or the realization that their actions, words, and decisions can have a lifelong effect on the young players they are entrusted to develop, nurture, and help to enjoy the game they play.

Love the Game

My hope in writing this article is to remind minor hockey administrators and coaches that goalies are people too, with feelings that all too often get forgotten by adults with personal agendas, inflated egos, and delusions of grandeur.

I was contacted for advice by a distraught goalie mom who was upset her 16-year-old son, Spencer Jolley, who played for Westerville (Ohio) in the WWHA, had just walked away from his team.

Let me be very clear. I do not advocate quitting or fading away in the face of a little adversity. The toughest position in any sport requires a strong mindset, very thick skin, and a dedication to your own development, perseverance, and self-esteem.

I have heard literally thousands of sob stories from parents about “their goalie” being benched, picked on, mistreated by the coach, or not played regularly. The list of complaints is endless – and often completely misguided.

A great majority of these frivolous complaints are relayed by overprotective helicopter parents who do not understand that life needs to happen to foster maturity in children.

They usually have no understanding about the dynamics of sport, the role of the coach, or how emotional and physical development are spurred through coaching.

However, there are a great many instances when goalies and parents are completely justified in their concerns, and goalies are victimized far often than any other position in sports.

The story I was told over the last few weeks surrounding Spencer’s experiences was one of an egotistical coach who had just successfully taken away one the great passions in this young man’s life.

I have heard the same story (legitimately) time and time again, and the details are as painful to hear every time. I feel sick to my stomach each time a child is forced from the game because someone thought that the team record or his or her personal status was more important than the kids on the team.

Coaches in minor sports are there to serve the players, develop them, nurture their talents, and keep the fun in the game. It’s about the players, and as soon as it becomes anything else, the fun disappears. 

Make no mistake: a coach needs to be tough yet fair; to develop structure and discipline; to teach good habits, sportsmanship, and life skills; and to build work ethic. Any coach who thinks that he or she needs to be everyone’s friend will never be successful. This reality does not, however, necessitate becoming an uncaring tyrant.

Spencer Jolley

Coaches are often the second-most (sometimes THE most) influential people in a child’s life. They must use this opportunity to communicate, motivate, and enhance that child’s experience of sport – not tear the child down and create heartache and anguish. 

Kids today face more adversity than ever. Life is tough. Hockey, or sports in general, may be an outlet for physical activity or the only reprieve from what may be challenging day-to-day circumstances.

My own childhood was filled with turmoil and uncertainty. I was born with a hole in my heart and had major open-heart surgery and multiple pacemaker implants (some broke; one was even recalled). I experienced over 100 cardiac arrests in a single day and suffered no brain damage (although my wife may disagree). My deadbeat father disappeared and my mother became an alcoholic, all before I turned 11.

So yes, I know a little bit about adversity….

My dream was to be a goaltender and make a living within hockey, and despite the ridiculous odds against me, I made that dream come true. This would not have been possible had I not had good mentors, coaches, and people around me who encouraged, supported, and believed in my goals and ability.

40+ years later, I make my living within the game and have done so for nearly 35 years.  I still get a thrill every time I am able to help a child experience a lightbulb moment. This is what motivates me, and what should motivate every coach.

Think about that for a moment. As a coach, you can actually become a factor with respect to whether someone lives, dies, achieves his or her goals, or lives in despair. Words and actions can change people and their path in life. 

Do not forget this, not for one second.

Communication is Key

If I’d had a coach like Spencer had, I may too have given up and quit. My story would be completely different. In fact, I firmly believe I would have taken an entirely different path and not developed the instincts for survival that have allowed me to persevere and go after what I wanted. In fact, I am convinced I would not have survived at all….

The mother of Tommy, an eight-year-old at the time, told me of her son’s heart-wrenching experience in Atom.

He was told the other goalie was “number one,” and, conversely, he played just three of every ten games, including two very long stretches, one for five straight weeks, without ever playing in a single game. When he was finally given a start, the coach pulled him after less than four minutes of play, completely destroying any remaining confidence he had. Tommy was then was made to sit on the bench for the entire playoff run and was repeatedly told throughout the season, by the head coach “these games are too important for us to lose.”

When you tell any eight-year-old that the other goalie is #1 and the games are “too important to lose” (while you sit on the bench for weeks at a time) and then regularly pull him from the game, the message the child hears is “you suck and you aren’t part of this team.” This alienates the child and destroys team unity.

This is absolutely not the first time I have heard this same story from a goalie parent, and the fact this is allowed to happen at any level, let alone in an entry-level “competitive” Atom development league, is appalling. This coach had zero understanding of how his actions would affect the spirit and self-esteem of a once-enthusiastic young goalie who cried after every game.

Thankfully, this was six years ago, and Tommy is finally back to enjoying the game and having success at a higher level, but I know this experience has stayed with him for all these years, had an impact on his self-esteem, and negatively influenced his mindset for several years.

Not so many years ago I coached a young man in his mid-teens who was clearly on the verge of taking the wrong path. Hockey was his passion. His mother once told me that Ted (not his real name) wanted to be like me and earn a living in the game he loved – whether it be coaching or playing didn’t matter. Like me, he just loved the game.

His mother, a “rough around the edges” single parent, had good intentions and a heart of gold, but didn’t see the warning signs. There were many. I worked hard to understand Ted’s motivation and to keep him invested in the game. He became a valuable member of our team and loved the attention. Because I connected and communicated with him, I knew his goals and dreams, and I knew that hockey was his saving grace. He had an outstanding season.

The next year, he advanced to a higher level and struggled. The coach cared only about winning and did not take the time to find Ted’s motivation. He did not receive the attention he craved, and, as a result, he floundered and lost interest. He then found new avenues to amuse himself.

Two years later this young man was arrested and jailed for possession, trafficking, and gun-related charges. His life ruined, and his hockey-playing days are over. He is now a shell of the young man I knew. Long gone is the sparkle you could see in his eyes when he played the game he loved.

His new coach had never taken the time to learn about Ted as a person. The fact is, the swift decline in his life can definitely be correlated with his waning interest in hockey, which resulted from a lack of connection with a coach who never saw the incredible potential this young man had or took time to garner an understanding of Ted’s needs and desires surrounding the game.

While I’m sure this coach had good intentions, he failed to see the players as people with individual thoughts and challenges. One wonders – if he were to actually look back on Ted’s demise, would he see the connection to his coaching philosophy?

Spencer Jolley

Spencer’s story is similar in that his misguided coach and, in this case, the entire organization, failed the young goalie who left the game he loved because of circumstances that simply should not be allowed to happen. 

Spencer, like Tommy, was bullied because the coach created team division and allowed the bullying to happen. Before I go any further, let me be clear. Too many people are oversensitive, and there are many parents who use “bullying” as an excuse for their wimpy, overprotected kids who just need to mature and deal with life. But there are absolutely many instances where bullying is a serious threat to emotional stability and quality of life, and these situations need to be dealt with immediately. 

Hockey is a sport where the culture is such that players verbally jab (chirp) each other quite often. It’s like a competition; the better the chirp and the more quickly it is delivered, the more popular the player who delivered it. The goalie is often the target of many chirps, and most develop a keen sense of timing and witty responses.

For the most part, this verbal banter is all in good fun, without malice or ill intent. It is as ingrained in the game as Don Cherry and stinky gloves. It becomes part of the camaraderie and players actually look forward to being part of it. This will continue as long as the game is played. If you haven’t experienced it, you simply won’t understand, but, believe me, it isn’t usually meant to cause pain or mental anguish.

Spencer, on the other hand, was dealing with legitimate mental abuse – bullying. This is completely unacceptable and something that cannot be tolerated. Coaches need to be in control of their players and aware of everything surrounding them. Mental abuse in the dressing room must be stopped and those responsible severely reprimanded. A failure to recognize or deal with such circumstances is a complete failure on the coach’s part.

Spencer’s mother spoke to the assistant coach about the abuse. Nothing was done, but Spencer found himself mysteriously sitting on the bench for all key games. Three months later, his parents told the head coach, who told the league president. The information never went any further, and the bullying continued.

The head coach opted to play the other goaltender in every key game for the remainder of the season, despite Spencer having a better GAA, save percentage, shutouts in 25% of his starts, and a far superior winning record, In fact, Spencer hadn’t lost a game in nearly three months, while the other goalie had lost his last five starts against the better teams in the league that Spencer was apparently not good enough to play against. All of this occurred without any communication or explanation.

The straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back was on a night when the other goalie was very sick and had missed practice due to illness that week. Spencer did the mature thing and asked his coach if he was starting so he could prepare for the game. The coach said he wasn’t sure. Then, he waited until the team was on the ice in warm-up before pointing at the other goaltender and stating “you’re in,” despite the fact he was still quite ill.

Spencer had had enough. He had won the previous meeting against this team and the other goalie was sick. He had lost all respect for the coach and the team structure. He was overwhelmed with emotion, and he quit the team on the spot. This is absolutely not the proper way to deal with frustration, and Spencer could have made a better decision.

As a side note, his team lost by a score of 7-2.

We have all been there, at a point where the breaking point of your emotions are so high that you can’t think straight. Imagine the emotional state of a teenager who just wants to play the game he loves. His stats prove he is equal to or better than his partner, and he is secretly battling emotional abuse from his own team and coach. What would you do?

The worst part is that Spencer has Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a connective tissue condition that will force him to quit hockey in a few years. Just as I kept my medical history a secret from everyone, Spencer has told no one of his condition. He simply wants to earn his spot and play. I can certainly appreciate this mindset, and I share his desire to be treated just like anyone else.

As his mother so eloquently put it: “All he wanted to do was play the game he loved. Never in my worst nightmare did I ever think that his own team and coach would force him to leave the game before his health gave out. I have cried every day since this happened. Spencer is essentially grieving the loss of hockey in his life and has shut everyone out, refusing to discuss the situation.” 

I’ve seen this all too often in my 30 years of coaching. Spencer is now a powder keg waiting to explode.  He has lost something that really mattered to him, and he now has no idea how to deal with it or express his feelings. I am concerned for Spencer’s safety and well-being.

A coach needs to be in tune with his players and address the hockey-related problems and situations that affect them. Emotions in sports run high, and Spencer was clearly distraught because of a team situation that got the better of him.

A good coach uses errors in judgment and sees these moments as teaching opportunities. Negatives can easily become positives when the opportunity is seized and the problem resolved. 

The response from the league was incomprehensible. Within 24 hours, Spencer’s stats were removed from the league website and his name stricken from the team roster. His mother was told he was being denied his varsity letter, despite proof of eligibility. The family was told not to attend the (prepaid) team banquet.

Despite repeated requests by the parents to meet with the coach or board members, there was no reply. No one asked to speak with Spencer nor asked his parents what the issue was. The entire situation was ignored.

Build Rapport

The coach and league clearly have their priorities in the wrong place and accept no accountability for the well-being and emotions of his goaltender, who had truly done nothing to deserve such treatment. The coach should, in fact, have been made to resign and prevented from ever coaching again.

Sadly, this story is not unique. It is, in fact, quite common, as are the countless political decisions that are made each hockey season with complete disregard for the emotions and well-being of young goaltenders.

Anyone within the game has experienced the politics that regularly turn young goalies into faceless pawns. To be fair, this happens at all positions and levels, but the goaltending position is much more susceptible, and the pain that much worse, because each team only carries two – and sometimes only one – goalie.

One of the worst offences is when “Dad the Coach” chooses his own undeserving goalie son or daughter, then cuts all others, eliminating goalie controversy and guaranteeing his own child will play every game.

Almost every goalie parent can reiterate a story of how “Dad‘ became a coach just so his child (a goaltender) could make the team or so he can then select his friend’s child for the team, cutting another young goalie who was far more deserving. Coincidentally, the other goalie’s father is often then named as an assistant coach.

I ask WHY is this allowed to happen?

Why are administrators and coaches not held to a standard that ensures fairness? 

We will never eliminate the politics that surround minor sports; this is an impossibility when you are dealing with volunteers and parents who bring their own agendas to the position.

However, checks and balances are needed in every organization to ensure young goalies are treated fairly and with respect, and that their hard work and dedication, when present, is rewarded.

Make no mistake – kids will get cut, and playing times will never be perfectly equal. There will be disappointed children and parents, but this is part of the game and a life lesson we all need to accept. Coaches do make the final decision.

Great Coaches are Remembered for Creating Positive Experiences & Keeping the Game Fun

However, in making that decision, I am merely suggesting that these checks and balances be put in place to help control situations and deal with legitimate problems, such as bullying and personal agendas.

The true point of this article is summed up in a quote from my book Target Practice – 8 Mistakes That Ruin a Love of the Game. Former NHL Head Coach Wayne Maxner said to me “They (goaltenders) are

human beings too; they want to be acknowledged and spoken to like anybody else. 

That says it all.

Take into consideration the feelings and potentially life-altering decisions you make as a leader of young men and women who simply want a fair chance to be rewarded for their efforts in an ethical and moral way. 

Remember, the game may mean so much more to them than you can ever realize. You have the opportunity to enhance or destroy dreams. Make these decisions with heart, compassion, and consideration. Make them correctly and honestly. Don’t be afraid to make the right decision, but make it for the right reasons.